Whether you’re a new or experienced real estate agent, chances are you’ve heard of these popular brokerages. Full disclosure: I left Keller Williams for eXp Realty. With that in mind, I will do my best to remain unbiased and include some info I wish I knew beforehand. I’ll cover all the similarities and differences between eXp Realty and Keller Williams Realty.
Expect to read:
- TLDR Version
- Cultural Differences
- Financial Differences
- Training Differences
- Real Estate Team Differences
- Business Model Differences
- A little history of each Company
- Why I Chose eXp
Table of Contents:
- Main Differences of eXp Realty vs Keller Williams (TLDR)
- Culture and Community of eXp Realty vs Keller Williams
- Financial Differences of eXp Realty vs Keller Williams
- Training at eXp vs Keller Williams
- Real Estate Teams at eXp vs Keller Williams
- How do Keller Williams and eXp Realty Business Models Compare?
- Why eXp Realty is better than Keller Williams
Main Differences of eXp Realty vs Keller Williams (TLDR)
Sick of looking for the meat and potatoes and running into a bunch of fluff? Below is a list of the main similarities and differences between eXp Realty and Keller Williams Realty.
- Top Agents have more financial incentives at eXp Realty ($5k-$15k)
- Culture and Community are the #1 most important aspect to a brokerage, so interview a BUNCH of brokerages, not just eXp and KW
- Training at eXp is the best in the real estate industry – 40+ hours of live, virtual training per week
- eXp Realty’s Revenue Share pays WAY more than Keller William’s profit share
- Keller Williams has physical offices and eXp doesn’t (eXp has some co-working perks)
- Costs of Keller Williams can vary by office while eXp is the same across the nation for everyone
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Culture and Community of eXp Realty vs Keller Williams
Culture and community are the MOST important part of your success. In my opinion, this is the only section you need to read. You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with.
The culture at Keller Williams can be closer because they have brick & mortar offices. eXp Realty doesn’t have a central location for agents, but they do offer co-working spaces. With that in mind, top-producing agents usually aren’t at the office, and it’s best to meet clients in a neutral environment… NOT your office.
That doesn’t mean Keller Williams has a better culture/community. I left for a reason. Who you choose as your sponsor at eXp Realty will make a massive difference in your success, and the culture you’re a part of.
That also doesn’t mean eXp is lacking a great community.
I’m growing a nationwide movement of real estate agents building real businesses and creating real wealth, alongside their peers. I encourage you to interview a BUNCH of brokerages and find out which you fit in best with. Don’t forget to interview me
Financial Differences of eXp Realty vs Keller Williams
TLDR: Keller Williams is a little more expensive, but you will have a physical location and potentially a personal desk. Keller Williams is also a franchise, so KW corporate has to make money, the franchise owner has to make money, and there are usually salaries your franchise owner has to cover.
eXp Realty cuts out a lot of the middlemen and puts more money in their agents’ pockets. So much so that you could keep up to an extra $5-$15k at the end of the year!
Fees – Monthly and Transactional
Keller Williams is a franchise, so these numbers are estimates and can be different for every market center (franchise). eXp is the same across the board but differs by country. I am going to assume you are a realtor in America. If not, these won’t be accurate.
Financial Costs $
$40-$75 per sale*
$65 per sale**
Cap on Splits
Ability to Earn Cap Back
YES - up to $16k
10%-20% until Cap*
20% for first 6 sales
- *Most of the KW expenses are dictated by the franchise owners and can differ across the county
- **This amount changes depending on the volume you do. We will address it below…
Keller Williams Fees
- $40 – $75 – Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance fees
- $50 – $200 – Desk fees
eXp Realty Fees
- $25 Transaction fee
- $40 Risk Management Fee (Caps at $500/year)
- $149 Start-up Fee (Includes first month Cloud Brokerage Fee)
- $85 Cloud Brokerage Fee (Includes a CRM)
Commission Splits and Cap
Keller Williams Commission Split and Cap
I paid a Cap of $25k. $3k in franchise fees (to the big man) and $22k to the market center. Again, all KW offices are different so my numbers could be slightly off.
Let’s say you cap at KW – you paid them $25k… Let’s see what that looks like for eXp:
eXp Realty Commission split and Cap
eXp has an 80/20 split until a $16,000 Cap. When an agent sells a house, 80% goes to the agent, and 20% goes to eXp. Let’s break down what $10,000,000 in sales volume looks like for an agent at eXp Realty:
eXp Realty example
1 year – 50 transactions ($6k commission each) – ICON Status
- Transactions 1-14 (14)
- $500 in Risk Management Fees
- $350 in Transaction review fees
- $16,000 Commission split Cap
- $84,000 GCI (Before splits & fees)
- Transactions 15-39 (25)
- $5,000 in Transaction Review Fees
- $150,000 GCI (Before fees)
- Transactions 40-50 (11)
- $825 in Transaction Review Fees
- $66,000 GCI (Before fees)
- $300,000 GCI (Before paying eXp)
- $22,675 in fees – Keller Williams had ($25k)
- $277,325 GCI
NOTE: For simplicity’s sake, we are going to call the monthly fees at KW and eXp the same. I don’t think a couple of hundred dollars per year will change your mind regardless of which one is more cost-effective… and it SHOULDN’T change your mind. Again, go somewhere you feel you belong.
Earn Your Splits Back
Here are where things start to take a turn. With Keller Williams, the money you paid via splits is gone.
If you’re a top producer, at eXp Realty you have the ability to earn your $16k cap back in the form of stock (EXPI). To qualify for this, a realtor needs to complete 20 transactions after hitting their cap. For those 20 transactions, their transaction fee is $250/transaction with no splits taken. Once the 20 transactions are complete, ICON is awarded and the transaction fee goes back down to $75.
- $8k is earned when ICON status is hit
- $4k is earned when the ICON cultural requirements are met
- $4k is earned when the ICON event requirements are met
- $277,325 GCI + $16k in stock… That changes things a bit
Mentorship split for new agents
At Keller Williams, some marketplaces require agents to pay for ‘productivity coaching’. This can be 10% of your GCI until you cap. Fortunately for me, the CEO at the KW office I hung my license never forced us to do that. He said since he left, EVERYONE there now has to do it! CRAZY RIGHT?
With eXp Realty, your first 6 transactions require an extra 20% GCI that is split between your mentor and eXp.
Training at eXp vs Keller Williams
Keller Williams had very generic training. IGNITE was what it was called back in the day. If I recall correctly it happened quarterly. I never went because I didn’t need it… Fortunately, my real estate career was like a rocket ship due to my sphere of influence.
eXp Realty has an insane amount of training. Remember earlier when I was talking about earning $4k of your splits back when the ICON cultural requirements are met?
ICONs across the nation are paid in stock to do live training for eXp agents. eXp’s training is non-stop, and they have thousands of hours of training on whatever you want to learn in their library. Training at other real estate brokerages doesn’t even compare.
eXp Realty has the best training in the real estate industry – No doubt.
Real Estate Teams at eXp vs Keller Williams
Teams a Keller Williams can vary, but they have very similar compensation plans to teams at eXp. When I had my team at Keller Williams, they allowed my team members to have reduced caps, usually 1/2 of what mine was.
Domestic Team: AWESOME if you’re married, file taxes together, and both licensed and selling
Self-organized Team: $16k cap for everyone (Check this) everyone may achieve ICON – No minimum a team leader can charge
Standard Team: $16k cap for team lead – team members have $8k cap but cannot be ICON agents unless they do a $16k cap (25% minimum)
Mega Icon: Minimum 10 agent count + 1 team lead – (25% split minimum) $4k split for team members – $40 million and 175 transactions closed in last 12 months
Mega Icon Team
Who can start one?
Anyone who has a spousal relationship or files taxes jointly
Any agents at eXp
Anyone with $6m in sales volume OR 30 closed transactions in previous 12 months
Anyone with $40m in sales volume AND 175 closed transactions in previous 12 months
Minimum # of Team Members
11 - (10 Agents w/ $80k+ GCI) & Team Leader
Maximum # of Team Members
Minimum split Team Leader Must Charge
25% for a member choosing a reduced cap
25% for a member choosing a reduced cap
How do Keller Williams and eXp Realty Business Models Compare?
So, why are the financial incentives of eXp so much stronger? Let’s compare both real estate business models.
Keller Williams is a franchise. Each franchise owner needs to get paid because of the investment they make when opening a physical office. Office space isn’t cheap, and here are some of the costs associated:
- Utilities (Water, electricity, internet)
- Salaries (Broker in Charge, Admin, etc…)
Those alone are multiple thousands of dollars per month. Someone has to pay the franchise owners for the financial risk they are taking. It comes out of every agent’s commission until they cap.
eXp might not have offices in your local market, but in mine, we get to use REGUS co-working spaces. On top of that, the managing brokers for each area are virtual employees. They can cover much more territory and at a fraction of the price of KW. The perks of being a cloud-based brokerage!
Although in-person interactions with others are great, if you don’t make an effort to get out and meet others, you probably wouldn’t do it with KW either!
Keller Williams was started back in 1983 in Austin, Texas by Gary Keller and Joe Williams. They had their first franchise in 1991. It quickly blew up into the nation’s fastest-growing and largest real estate company by agent count. Although, their business model is less agent-friendly, someone at Keller Williams Realty saw a massive opportunity.
In the 2008 Financial crisis, Glenn Sanford had several Keller Williams offices. Unfortunately, the crash caused him to close several of the offices. He thought his profit share would bring him through the downtimes, but there weren’t any profits. That’s when he decided he’d use revenue share to pay agents.
In 2009, Glenn Sanford launch eXp Realty. Since then it’s grown to just under 90,000 real estate agents.
Why eXp Realty is better than Keller Williams
I did a post on why I left KW but long story short, it was the culture. I didn’t care about the money… An extra $10k doesn’t mean THAT much as a real estate agent. For a company that is new and technology-driven, eXp Realty was much more willing to let me work in the non-traditional area of real estate. The extra money is nice and the Rev Share is extra dope. Schedule a call with me to join our movement of real estate agents building real businesses and real wealth alongside peers.